July 17, 2019

Tenth Circuit: Tax Evasion Sentence Affirmed in Violation of the Omnibus Clause of 26 U.S.C. § 7212(a) Case

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals published its opinion in United States v. Neilson on Tuesday, July 2, 2013.

Defendant Kenneth Neilson appealed the 30 month sentence he received for interfering with the administration of the internal revenue laws in violation of the omnibus clause of 26 U.S.C. § 7212(a). Violations of the omnibus clause may be sentenced under either U.S.S.G. § 2T1.1, the guideline for “Tax Evasion; Willful Failure to File Return, Supply Information, or Pay Tax; Fraudulent or False Returns, Statements, or Other Documents,” or U.S.S.G. § 2J1.2, the guideline for “Obstruction of Justice,” and Neilson contended the district court erred in calculating his sentence under the former guideline rather than the latter.

After reviewing the defendant’s stipulated conduct, the Tenth Circuit agreed that the district court correctly sentenced Neilson under § 2T1.1 as his conduct overall had more to do with tax evasion. His conduct did not have to meet every element of tax evasion, it just had to be akin to it. The court affirmed Neilson’s sentence.

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